Flashback to 10 years ago. I started college in Point Loma, San Diego and commuted down Rosecrans Street every day. A unique-looking vintage hotel out the right window caught my eye each and every time as I headed to class. I always imagined what it was like inside and dreamed of staying there. I now know that The Pearl had at that time (2007) recently completed their renovation of a 1961 hotel and made it into a true gem (okay, pearl) right in the heart of the peninsula.
As a lover of all things mid-century modern, I can’t get over it when businesses take something old and make it better than before, while still staying true to the era. The Pearl achieves this and more. Their lounge, heated saltwater pool, and restaurant are all top notch while staying on-brand with 60s lounge jazz and old episodes of Tom and Jerry or Sean Connery-era James Bond movies playing silently on TVs.
Locals love The Pearl for staycations or simply for dinner or weekend brunch (summer weekends from 10-2). I can personally attest that their restaurant is my go-to when I want dinner that’s a little more special. Or brunch in the sun. Or cheap tacos on Taco Tuesday. Honestly I can come up with a million reasons to eat there, and then some! Their nightlife is poppin. Every Wednesday at 8 p.m. they have a dive-in movie, and each time I’ve been to the dive-in, it has been packed including people who come in costume. They also host bingo nights (the last Thursday of every month—reservations for bingo are snatched up quickly).
When it comes to San Diego hotels, many people tend to choose between downtown, Mission Valley, and Mission Beach/Bay (sun and sand). Personally I’d rather stay here because it’s a quick drive to the airport, close to Shelter Island, just a hop over to Ocean Beach, and has a truly local feel due to its neighborhood setting.
The Pearl has been featured time and time again as a standout boutique hotel that doesn’t break the bank. That said, check out their wallet saver page for ways to save at their restaurant even if you aren’t checked in.
If you’re into retro hotels, check out this Curbed guide to other great examples here in the Golden State.
All photos by Staci Jackson for The Voyageer.